“Our” Ward

I recently wrote about dozens of families living on the Donbass whom we are helping. But it’s a fact that our help since nearly the start developed in various directions since ’14. We regularly help not only specific individuals but also entire old age homes, rehab centers, hospitals, hospices, orphanages, etc.
For example, we’ve been regularly assisting the Lugansk Infant Pathology Ward attached to the maternity ward.
Amazing people work there, particularly the director. She is on the right on the last photo. Zhenya writes about visiting them: “It’s always very pleasant to come here. They are very sincerely, earnestly glad to see us, without hiding emotions. As if we were family.)))”
Incidentally, remember how we recently brought them a printer-scanner?
From Natalya of Karelia.
It’s right there on the first photo.
The staff use it and are very happy with it. And send huge thanks to Natalya and everyone else who is not indifferent)))

The “Diabetes” Tag

As you know, helping diabetics is a very important part of our Donbass aid effort.
Here, I want to tell you about one individual.
I don’t even remember when Sasha first appeared. He simply wrote and offered help.
He was at the time delivering a large batch of foodstuffs through some foundation, delivered some to us as well. That’s how we obtained A LOT of condensed milk, canned meat, and groats that we distributed among families under our care. That was back in ’15.
Then Sasha somehow read my post about diabetics and test strips. I don’t recall when that was.
You know that diabetics must constantly monitor their blood sugar. For them it’s a given without which they cannot survive. There were gaps in insulin supply in Lugansk in ’14-’15, now it’s available in clinics, moreover all kinds are available. Though even in ’16 not everything was being handed out. So we brought certain types of insulin for our blind Vika. The kind of insulin she was issued made her feel worse. Now, thank God there are no problems with insulin in LPR.
But when it comes to glucose-meters and test strips, they have to be purchased by individuals themselves, like elsewhere in the world. This is where the problem is. On average, two packets of strips are needed a month. That’s about 1500 rubles (optimistically). Moreover, pharmacies often run out and there are delays in deliveries. People always try to stock up, whenever possible.
Local endocrinologists say that diabetes is sharply on the rise. Huge number of new cases. I’m speaking of insulin-dependent. Many children. Due to these “stresses”, if such a word is appropriate when speaking about war. For most locals it’s too much to afford. Average salary in the region is 6-8 thousand rubles.
There are also problems with the paramedic stations. They issue only the minimum, so the medics are forced to take people to labs to rule out diabetes. It would be quicker and easier to do this on the spot. I wrote a post about this some time ago. Then  Sasha instantly wrote “Dunya, how about I deliver short expiration date stuff? It’s cheaper, and they will all be used up?”
They are being used up. You wouldn’t believe how fast.

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How did the surgery go?

One doesn’t want to say anything prematurely.
One becomes superstitious, afraid to say to much.
My phone has been ringing off the hook: “how did the surgery go?”
Aleksey from Lugansk was operated on by some of the best neurosurgeons in Moscow.
The surgery lasted 5 hours.
To say it was very complex would be an understatement. I wrote in an earlier post it’s the most complex existing surgery. More so than a heart surgery. He had a trepanation done and, in rough terms, his blood vessel was put “back in the right place”.
Aleksey had an aneurysm and two attacks, and it’s a miracle he survived.
Tanya, his wife, says the surgeons were very concerned both before and after the operation.

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Helping the Infant Pathology Ward

Here it is, the power of networks!
So I write a post in mid-May. Folks, we need a printer for Infant Pathology! And inhalators, syringes, mixtures, diapers. All of that is badly needed!
And I instantly get a response.
There is a printer. Brand new, still in the unopened box. In Karelia.
It means Natalya is writing me.
So I write back, clarify. While I do that, the printer arrives in Moscow. Our Sasha met it there and sent to Lugansk. Even as I was writing her, she surprised me by writing that it was already sent off. Wow.
I’m again running back and forth. And now Zhenya is sending me photos from Lugansk showing a happy ward director with the printer.
Oh, so it was already delivered. Then the director called in a shock–“there’s also a scanner? a new one?”. Well, not really new, it’s about 10 years old, but never even unpacked.
Our friends arrived not only with the printer but also everything else they were asking for.
The workers there were speechless.
And I’m running back and forth.
You responded so quickly and smoothly, friends. I don’t even know what to say!!!
Fine, I’m also awesome)


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It’s a miracle!

Yesterday was crazy. We sent Rodion back to Lugansk after his first cochlear implant tuning and I was keeling over with exhaustion when Ira called.
Ira Bednova is an amazing human being. Widowed by the death of the husband, commander Batman, she’s been active helping people for almost five years. It is only thanks to her that we were able to give Rodion a chance to have his hearing restored, bring Vika to Moscow for treatment, and evacuate Sergey Balanov who had cancer. Ira helped tens of individiuals.
So here’s the  phone call:
–Dunya, Aleksey is to be hospitalized on Monday.
I was speechless. And I jumped up like a mountain goat!
Because, my friends, this is a real miracle!
A miracle to which we are witnesses.
Aleksey had an emergency.
I wrote about it in early May.
The young man suffered from an aneurysm. I still don’t understand what that is, but the point is that it has something to do with blood vessels in the head.
He fell and lost consciousness. Then ambulances, tests, and the worrisome diagnosis.
He’s been confined to a bed for months. Any stress or sudden movement could kill him. He’s hanging by a thread.
This requires a surgery which in Donetsk costs serious money (I posted the bill and medical history in the earlier post). Over a million rubles. The family simply doesn’t have that kind of money. Our team is helping many people, but this is not something we could handle. All that time we’ve searched for other options. And Ira is simply our angel.
Only a surgery can save him.
The worst part is that he could die during the operation. Anyone who’s ever had to deal with an aneurysm knows that. It’s a game of chance where no surgeon will guarantee success. But it’s a chance which otherwise wouldn’t exist.
Moreover, he recently experienced another problem.
On May 9 he lost consciousness while his daughter was watching. The aneurysm did not burst but grew by 50%.
He is in extreme pain. He was hospitalized, didn’t eat anything for a week. Received a morphine IV.
And then these news.
I can’t tell what how big a miracle this is.

Infant Pathology Ward

One of the Lugansk maternity wards also has an infant pathology ward. It treats premature babies and infants with serious illnesses. Sometimes it also takes case of abandoned infants until they are sent to an orphanage.
Kiryukha was there once, remember?
The ward receives ordinary humanitarian aid–standard baby food, diapers, though sometimes it’s at the end of the list–whatever’s left over. It means that sometimes it gets really large diapers, too large for a premature infant. Such are the times: war.
As I wrote above, the ward receives unusual children, often with major illnesses. Sometimes they are abandoned by their parents because they have no way of helping the babies. That’s how we started helping the ward, after they requested a special formula for Kirill. None of what they had was suitable. Zhenya and Lena barely found it in Lugansk, after visiting every store and warehouse.
And now they called us again.
Recently the ward received a seriously ill girl. Or, rather, an illness she got because of her mother. She needs antibiotics which are not available in LPR. Couldn’t find them in Russia, either. We had to get them through Ukraine.
I won’t describe how exactly we obtained them–it was a rather complex task, considering what you know about that war.
And of course we also brought diapers, formula, which are always in short supply there.

Helping the Surgery Ward

Friends, I want to thank everyone who, in spite of the holiday chaos, continues to participate in our Donbass aid effort.
Thanks to you, were were able and are able to do a lot to help this region.
It may sound immodest, but my little-known blog sometimes does more than many well-known foundations, people, and even organizations. I’m genuinely proud of myself, my team, and us all! Because the volume of what we’ve done is impressive.
Thank you for your caring!
In addition to helping specific families who found themselves in dire straits, we help hospices, retirement homes, orphanages, and hospitals.

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Helping the Therapy Department

You are looking at a lovely doctor from the city hospital’s Therapy Department. Our Yura, who often himself helps others, was treated there. He’s under our care too, as he’s a father of 7 kids (!), you sometimes see him mentioned in comprehensive aid reports. During the fighting he left for Russia and tried to become a citizen. But…It was difficult with so many kids, even though he quickly found work. So he had to return home to his house in Lugansk.
Then Yura started having blood pressure problems, breathing problems, and was admitted to the hospital. Once there, Zhenya noticed that the nurses had to run to get a blood pressure monitor from a different floor. He started talking to the doctors and nurses and it turned out that they have one such instrument for three departments, the lab is closed, and they forgot when they last saw test strips.
Zhenya: “What’s interesting is that people were not complaining about low wages or personal inconvenience, they were worried that they had one blood pressure gauge for three departments, the others were broken, and they were not slated to get a new one for another year. They were concerned that people were being brought on emergency visits and the lab was closed so they couldn’t measure blood sugar…”
We could not ignore this. We brought two gauges, a glucose meter, and test stripes.

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“Authorized Personnel Only”

This is intensive care unit of Lugansk’s City Hospital No. 1. It saves people’s lives around the clock. I wrote about doctors so many times that I don’t want to repeat myself. But how can I not, when we know what they have done during the worst shellings of 2014. When there was no electricity, no communications, and the shelling was constant. They went back and forth, constantly risking their lives. They went where they were needed, even though there were no communications.
And now they go out to save people even during curfews.
Heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure–that’s what plagues the people of the Donbass. What can one say, considering the level of stress there?
Very many doctors have left, which is understandable. But those who remained are genuine heroes. Many did not leave because they couldn’t. They couldn’t abandon their patients. They felt they were needed. They worked practically without pay in 2014-15, and even today the less is said about their salaries, the better…

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Hospice on the line of fire

It was quiet in Kalinovo. Even though today is the lottery.
The village is long–I’ve never seen anything like it–27 kilometers. From Pervomaysk to Bryanka. More than half-marathon. Except it’s impossible even hypothetically because shelling is a daily occurrence. It’s been like this for three years. We forgot, we can’t believe, it seems vague to us, we push it out of our thoughts. Even among LPR inhabitants there are those who don’t know what happens on the line of contact. The media don’t draw attention to it, and people simply stopped paying attention.
Kalinovo has its own hospice. That’s where we went.

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